Executive Director Rachel Canter has been in a spate of news stories about the State Board of Education's 2012 decision to remove graduation rates from state accountability rankings this year. Mississippi First's position is that graduation rates should not have been removed from the accountability system, even temporarily, as it signals to school districts, students, and the public that graduation is not critical to the quality of a school system.
- WLBT, "Board of education takes out graduation rates"
- MPB, "Mississippi Legislators Could Call Hearings Over School Rating System Change"
- MPB, "Mississippi School Board Stands by One Year Removal of Graduation Rates"
- AP, "Dropout rates won't factor in Miss. school ratings"
[Posted November 6, 2012]
Mississippi First has had some great national press in Fall 2012. Below, see links to two national news pieces and one national blog post about our work promoting evidence-based, age-appropriate, and medically accurate sex education.
- NPR, "Teen Pregnancy Declines, but U.S. Still Lags Behind"--Executive Director Rachel Canter is interviewed on All Things Considered about Mississippi First's work on sex ed.
- TIME Magazine, "Sex Education in Mississippi: Will a New Law Lower Teen Pregnancy Rates?"--Executive Director Rachel Canter and Deputy Director Sanford Johnson are both interviewed about sex ed.
- RH Reality Check, "Sex Education in Mississippi: Why it is Time to Celebrate Progress"--Jamie Bardwell of the Women's Fund of Mississippi writes about the success of the CHART Initiative.
[Posted November 6, 2012]
The North Panola School District (Panola, P1) has become the 19th district to adopt the CHART policy. The decision was confirmed today by the district conservator. Because the district is currently under state control, the conservator has the authority to make policy decisions without a board vote. After meeting with members of the district staff, it was decided that the district would adopt CHART.
The addition of North Panola to our list marks a milestone in our advocacy campaign. With 15 Priority 1 districts on board, we are now 10 districts away from reaching our goal.
More announcements (hopefully) coming soon!
The board members of the Cleveland School District (Bolivar, P1) voted last night to adopt the CHART Abstinence-Plus policy. The district has become the third district in the Bolivar County to adopt the policy. Cleveland is also the 18th CHART district.
At this moment, fourteen P1 school districts have adopted the CHART policy, moving us closer to our goal of 25. We hope to make more announcements in the coming days.
In what has become the most successful week of CHART Advocacy thus far, the West Bolivar School District has increased our weekly total to four districts! The school board adopted the policy during last night's meeting (4/12), making WBSD the 2nd district in Bolivar County (P1) and the 17th district overall to adopt the abstinence-plus policy.
Our goal at the beginning of this advocacy campaign was to get 25 or our 33 Priority 1 school districts (75%) to adopt the policy. With West Bolivar on board, we now have 13 Priority 1 CHART districts, in addition to one Prioirity 2 and 3 Priority 3 districts. More districts should be voting soon, and the frequency of these announcements should only increase as we move closer to the June 30th deadline.